Willy Caballero is hoping for a rare start against Sunderland this evening.
The Blues’ early exit from the competition at the hands of Newcastle last year meant the Argentine ‘keeper lost the chance to play more matches with Manuel Pellegrini often using his No.2 in cup competitions.
Though Caballero played twice in the Premier League last season – including one against Sunderland - his other five starts have come in various cup matches and with City dipping put after just two games in both the FA Cup and Capital One Cup, the former Malaga custodian missed out on more appearances.
If Pellegrini opts to rotate his squad on Wearside, Caballero says he is ready for the challenge, despite not playing competitively for the first-team for eight months.
“We are a big team and everybody in the squad needs to be ready to play and take their opportunity when it comes along,” said Caballero.
“Focus is not a problem for me and I’ll be ready if selected to play and if I do, it is a great chance for me and the rest of the players to change the dynamic of the last week where we have lost two games.
Each time, we played very well in one half only and we need to return to the way we played in our first five games and it doesn’t matter who plays
“We have some very promising young players at the club and they have all worked very hard in pre-season and we have got to know them well.
“If any of them are called upon by the manager, I’m sure they will be focused and ready to go against Sunderland, but we won’t know who is involved until the team is announced. This competition is essential for me and a number of other players.”
Caballero also warned that the Blues mustn’t become the team other clubs regenerate their season against.
He said: “Like Juventus, Sunderland have started badly but football is such that one game can turn things around – we can’t afford to give them the opportunity for them to start their season against us.
“We also can’t allow to give Sunderland the kind of start West Ham had against us so we need to start well and play our normal game for 90 minutes.”
The likeable keeper may not play regularly, but he admits he knew his role in the squad before he joined the Blues and is happy with life at the Club where he feels he is improving training alongside Joe Hart every day.
“I knew the situation before I joined City, but I like how things are going,” he said.
“This is the first really big club I’ve played for and I have a fantastic goalkeeper in front of me in Joe Hart. Joe keeps improving which means I have to keep up with him and keep improving too which is really good for me and for my career. I train really hard every day and if I play at Sunderland, I intend to enjoy it.”